Pressure Cooked: 10 Athletes and Teams Who Laid Big, Fat Eggs at Crunch Time
June has arrived and summer is about to heat up. More importantly though, on June 3, 2010, our country can stop for a day, set aside poor economics, oil spills, health care, and Kate Gosselin, to join together as one in honoring chickens everywhere as we celebrate National Egg Day.
Whether you fancy them scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, or over-easy, there's an egg for everyone, and for Bleacher Report fans, we have our own tribute to eggs. Here you will find the millennium's top 10 athletes and teams who, when faced with the chance to reap the spoils of victory, wound up laying a nice, solid egg, instead.
2004 Yankees Bombed in the Bronx
No wonder Joe Torre looks glum. With his team up 3-0 in the best-of-seven ALCS, the Bronx Bombers pretty much bombed the next four games en route to helping the Red Sox march towards their first World Series title in 86 years.
Have no fear Bomber fans, we rag on Boston very soon.
2010 Bruin Ruin
Just like Yankee fans, Boston Bruin fans saw their team up 3-0 in a best-of-seven series against the Philadelphia Flyers, only to witness their heroes snatch defeat from the jaws of victory—four straight times—as the Flyers skated towards their first Stanley Cup Finals since 1997.
Jim Caldwell and the 2010 Indianapolis Colts
Who needs an undefeated season when you can have a Super Bowl title, instead? That's what Colts head coach Jim Caldwell thought as he kept his eye on the prize by yanking Peyton Manning and most of his starters during a late December loss to the Jets that pretty much kept his players fresh and ready for a losing streak and Super Bowl loss.
That Super Bowl victory confetti shower must have felt great... for Sean Payton and the Saints.
King James Dethroned... Again.
The Cavaliers lost to the Magic in last year's NBA Eastern Conference Finals so no way LeBron would let that happen to his team this time, right?
Well again, King James came up short when it counted the most, allowing the Boston Celtics to move past his Cavaliers as he earned the right to sit atop a new throne: his living room couch. Although unlike at the end of last year's Magic series debacle, he at least stuck around long enough to make nice with his opponent.
Swing Carlos, Swing!
Game Seven of the 2006 National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals is one that will live in infamy among Mets fans for many years to come.
With Cardinals' pitcher Adam Wainright facing a bases loaded jam and two outs, Carlos Beltran stood at the plate with his bat firmly resting on his left shoulder. There it stayed as he took a called third strike, effectively sending the Mets home for an early winter vacation.
This guy lays an egg before he even hears "Gentlemen, start your engines."
Seriously, is this guy ever going to win another race? Definitely puts the "O" in overrated but hey, at least he's still smiling.
Tracy McGrady's Playoff Luck
Such a talented player, such a waste of talent.
Injuries have slowed McGrady down over the years but in his heyday if there was ever a playoff series and your team was going against T-Mac's, you had to like your chances.
Favre in? Favre out. Favre in? Favre out.
No, you haven't really choked like the rest of these guys but you do have a penchant for throwing the INT in crucial situations.
However, you made it on the list for your wishy-washy wavering on retirement year after year after year. In fact, if they say pink is the new black (which I'll never agree with), I say the phrase "When Brett Favre retires" should be the new "When hell freezes over."
San Diego Chargers' Kicker Nate Kaeding
San Diego Chargers fans must LOVE seeing this guy trot out on the field during a playoff game since his next clutch kick will be his first.
Don't worry Nate, Jet fans will always have a special place in their heart for you.
Steve Bartman Becomes the Chicago Cubs' New Billy Goat
With his beloved Cubbies ahead 3-0 and holding a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, "lucky" fan Steve Bartman attempted to catch a foul ball off the bat of Marlins' second baseman Luis Castillo. Bartman touched the ball once it crossed into the stands and disrupted a potential catch by Cubs outfielder Moises Alou.
If Alou had caught the ball, the Cubs would have been just four outs away from winning the National League pennant. Instead, the Cubs did what they do best in a playoff game: blew their lead, lost the game, and eventually lost the series.
Good news though—the Billy Goat that had cursed the Cubs since 1945 could finally rest in peace as the Curse of Bartman had begun.